THANKSGIVING 1 (A REPRISE)

November’s a beautiful and dangerous month. Yesterday when I opened my daughter’s backpack after school, tips of multi-colored construction paper feathers poked out . . . Momentary pause. As I pulled her construction out, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was only a turkey. But that moment made me recall a post from last … Continue reading

THE ONLY WHITE KID IN THE ROOM

As a white parent committed to resisting racism, what do I want for my kids? I want my kids to know how to be the only white person in the room. I want them to know how to do this gracefully and without calling undue attention to themselves. I want them to know how to … Continue reading

FOR WHITES (LIKE ME): CLARIFYING RACE TALK

Dear Parents and Non-Parents Who Also Happen to be White, I need to clarify something in regard to my last letter (“Dear Parents with White Children”). Do Latino/a people sometimes dislike white people because they’re white? Do people of African descent sometimes perpetuate negative stereotypes about people of European descent? In an argument, might an … Continue reading

FOR WHITES (LIKE ME): on white kids

Dear parents of white children, I vote that we strike the following from our parental lexicon: “Everybody is equal.” “We’re all the same underneath our skin.” I realize this is counterintuitive. But I’m completely serious. These statements are so abstract they’re mostly meaningless when handed to a seven (or even seventeen) year-old. That’s at best. … Continue reading

Waiting One More Day (on DOMA)

I think the experience is universal among parents. You deeply want your child to believe “x” about the world. But you realize that lots of things are beyond your control and you’re going to have to teach them “y” is actually the case. Here’s one version of “x”: “Everyone who meets you is always going … Continue reading

THAT’S A CHILD

One of the challenges faced by women who survive sexual assault by an acquaintance is the shattering of everyday trust. We expect harm from the stranger in an alley. But when violence comes at the hands of someone you’re supposed to trust (a friend of a friend at a party, a classmate, a family member) … Continue reading

FILLING A BOWL WITH A THIMBLE

Temporary mountain living has put some distance between my phone and me. There’s no great reason for this. I get reception for the most part. It may be because some of the “smart” features don’t work. Or, maybe it’s just that I’m not in my regular day-to-day routine. Whatever it is, my phone has lost … Continue reading

ACCEPTING VULNERABILITY: A (hard) WORK IN PROGRESS

by Jennifer Harvey I sat in the front lobby of my 4-year old’s school while she enjoyed her weekly dance class three days after the horrors of Newtown. Every time the door opened I looked up. My heart didn’t skip a beat and I didn’t feel scared. But a consuming sensation went through me nonetheless. … Continue reading

CHILD ON GOD AND COUNTRY (a.k.a. what’s a mother to do?)

by Jennifer Harvey This is more transcript than insight. It follows up my Thanksgiving post about Native Americans and U.S.-American myths where I mentioned our 4-year old being taught the Pledge of Allegiance at school. Turns out, she’s learned the Star-Spangled Banner too—but that’s getting ahead of myself. The school setting: I love our daughter’s … Continue reading

Thanksgiving Thought: When Myth is a Lie (Which Mom Taught Not to Do)

by Jennifer Harvey I was in fourth grade and The Hobbit—a full-length animated film (a big deal back then)—was coming to my school. Those of us who were part of the gifted and talented program were going to get to see it. My “non-g/t” classmates were jealous. My mom was pissed. Years later I would … Continue reading

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